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Issues and Insights

This page provides links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research. The entries are drawn from a wide range of sources, including national newspapers, magazines and websites. If you come across interesting transportation reading that might deserve posting here, let us know at [email protected]

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Texas Blackouts Point to Coast-to-Coast Crises Waiting to Happen

The New York Times, 2/20/21 - Even as Texas struggled to restore electricity and water over the past week, signs of the risks posed by increasingly extreme weather to America’s aging infrastructure were cropping up across the country.The week’s continent-spanning winter storms triggered blackouts in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and several other states. One-third of oil production in the nation was halted. Drinking-water systems in Ohio were knocked offline. Road networks nationwide were paralyzed and vaccination efforts in 20 states were disrupted.

Letting Cities and Regions Lead Infrastructure Investment

Planetizen, Feb. 19. 2021 - The Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research worked with former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros to publish a new report charting a path for "bottom-up" infrastructure investment for post-pandemic recovery.

Inside the ‘Wikipedia of Maps,’ Tensions Grow Over Corporate Influence

CityLab, Feb. 19, 2021 -What do Lyft, Facebook, the International Red Cross, the U.N., the government of Nepal and Pokémon Go have in common? They all use the same source of geospatial data: OpenStreetMap, a free, open-source online mapping service akin to Google Maps or Apple Maps. But unlike those corporate-owned mapping platforms, OSM is built on a network of mostly volunteer

Is This High-Speed Train the First Megaproject of the Biden Era?

CityLab, Feb. 17, 2021 - It is an audacious vision for high-speed rail in the Northeast: new tunnels out of New York City and under the Long Island Sound, routing trains up through Hartford, Providence and Boston. With electric locomotives that top 200 miles per hour, travel time between New York and Boston would be slashed to 100 minutes — two hours quicker than current Acela service, the fastest train that Amtrak now runs. Construction would consume 20 years and require building the largest underwater tunnel in North America. The price tag: $105 billion.

One Thing Millennials Aren't Killing? Public Transportation Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email

NPR, Feb. 5, 2021 - Millennials are often blamed for "killing" things. Whether it's golf, mayonnaise, vacations, or marriage — it's become almost a cliché. However, public transportation is one thing many millennials, and their younger counterparts in Gen Z, are trying to save.

Moynihan Train Hall: It’s Stunning. And, a First Step.

New York Times, January 11, 2021- A $1.6 billion transformation of a post office has given the city a lofty, light-filled steel, glass and marble cathedral, our critic writes.

Make Way for the ‘One-Minute City’ CityLab, Jan. 5, 2021 - While the “15-minute city” model promotes neighborhood-level urban planning, Sweden is pursuing a hyper-local twist: a scheme to redesign every street in the nation.  
Car buying has changed forever Axios, January 3, 2021 -  It took a pandemic to drag the car-buying process into the 21st century — and consumers are never going back. After COVID-19, consumers can now buy cars online as they do almost everything else, with the ability to complete the entire transaction digitally and take delivery without ever setting foot in a showroom.
The Gospel of Hydrogen Power New York Times - Dec. 28, 2020 - Mike Strizki powers his house and cars with hydrogen he home-brews. He is using his retirement to evangelize for the planet-saving advantages of hydrogen batteries.
How New Yorkers Want to Change the Streetscape for Good, 12/18/20 - Of all the ways the pandemic reshaped New York City’s streetscape, the most profound example might have been found on Vanderbilt Avenue as it cut through brownstone Brooklyn. On weekends jazz bands played on the corners. Friends reunited on the median. Children zigged and zagged on their bikes as diners sat at bistro tables atop asphalt. The faint sound of cars could be heard in the distance.
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